GALASHIELS councillor John Mitchell has announced he will stand for re-election in May.

Mr Mitchell, who is currently depute leader of Scottish Borders Council, has been an elected member of the local authority for almost 29 years.

And most recently has been one of two SNP councillors representing the four-member ward of Galashiels and District.

His current colleague at Newtown, Bill Herd, isn't standing for re-election.

But a further SNP candidate, Andy Anderson, will be hoping the party can continue to have two elected members.

Mr Mitchell, who is a chartered accountant by profession, told us: "Besides holding regular surgeries I have been involved with various local organisations and events including the highly successful Langlee Carnival, and I thrive on serving the local community.

"With responsibility for finance at Scottish Borders Council since May 2012 I have steered SBC's finances with a steady hand over the five years despite reducing resources and extra demands from time to time.

"I am delighted that the new Langlee Primary School is on track and that the railway delivered by the SNP government is proving so successful in bringing extra tourism, jobs and trade to the area.

"I would be delighted to serve another five year term if that is the will of the electorate."

Mr Anderson, who is a graduate of the Scottish College of Textiles, ran a printed textile business for several years before moving into publishing, where he has worked freelance for the last 20 years.

He served his community as a member of Stow Primary School PTA as well as a community councillor in Stow.

Mr Anderson said: "Like John, I have good relationships with local MP Calum Kerr and MSP Christine Grahame, and would of course be delighted to work with them and other councillors as a member of the Borders SNP team, at local and national level, to achieve results for this ward.

"I am keen to be involved in the regeneration of Galashiels, and believe in empowerment of local communities and groups in Galashiels, Stow, Fountainhall, Heriot and the wider area.

"I would be honoured to represent Galashiels and District in the Scottish Borders Council 2017 elections."